A couple in Houston, excuse me, I mean a very rich couple in Houston, is going through a divorce after three decades of marriage. Together, they have a number of homes, including a $45 million flat on London's Billionaire Square that the couple bought in 2011. Marie Bosarge then spent the next two years flying between Houston and London to decorate the home with the help of a team of interior designers. When the house was finished, she was excited to move in. However, by the time the home was complete, Wilbur Edwin "Ed" Bosarge had left her for his 20-something Russian mistress. Ed and his mistress moved into the London home together. Now, as the Bosarge's high stakes divorce battle plays itself out in the courts in Texas, Marie can no longer access any of the 12 homes she and her husband bought while they were married, including an enormous mansion in Houston, an estate in Aspen, and a private island in the Bahamas. Ed, 80, moves between the couple's homes as he pleases.
Of course, it isn't out of the ordinary for couples to fight over the homes during a divorce. The Bosarges, however, are taking it to a new level, or, at least Mr. Bosarge is doing so. Marie claims that her ex set up complex ownership structures for the homes (without her knowledge) that make Ed the sole owner of their many homes and to prevent her from accessing billions in cash and other assets through a trust that was set up in South Dakota, a state that's become a tax haven for rich people in recent years.
Court documents from the former couple's divorce reveal that his attorneys said that Marie doesn't have any evidence that she has any claim on their community property. And it isn't just his ex-wife of many decades good ol' Ed is leaving out of the family wealth, he's also cutting out his kids and grandchildren.
Ed and Marie got married in 1989. Ed and his business partner Bruce Eames founded Quantlab Financial in 1998. Marie answered the phones at the company, which soon became a leader in high-frequency trading. The Bosarges enjoyed their newfound wealth and spent it lavishly on homes, three yachts, arts, and the other trappings of the wealthy. Public records reveal that all of the homes except a 1920s Mediterranean home the couple bought in Houston in the 1990s are owned by a number of limited liability companies or trusts. Some of the Bosarge's properties are:
- Chateau Carnarvon – In late 2010 the Bosarge's bought a 27,000 square foot Houston mansion for $10 million. They spent $20 million renovating it and filled it with $50 million worth of art and antiques. The property first went on the market in 2014 for $43 million. Currently, the home is on the market for $29 million.
- Villa Maria – The Bosarges purchased a 1920's Mediterranean style home in the 1990s and added onto it significantly over the years. A second floor music room was added that could hold 60 people for concerts. Marie is a music lover who sings and plays the piano.
- Mountain Song – The Bosarge's bought their 14,000 square foot home in Aspen, Colorado in 2009 for $12 million. They gutted and renovated the home. The property is on the market for $28 million.
- Private Island in the Bahamas – In 2008, the Bosarges bought a 72-acre island in the Bahamas for $250 million, which included the cost of the island and the construction of infrastructure including a dock and four houses on the island – one for themselves, a guest house, and one for each of Ed's two children as well as staff quarters. The property is now a resort owned by a Bosarge trust.
- South Song – The Bosarges spent summers on the coast of Maine. They purchased five properties starting with a home for themselves on the island of Southport.
- Boothbay, Maine – The Bosarges bought a home for Ed's children not far from South Song. The dock was deep enough for the family's yachts. They also bought the house next door for their yacht captains and their families.
- Belgrave Square – In 2011, the Bosarages bought a home on London's exclusive Belgrave Square in London for $45 million.
In 2013, Ed told Marie he was leaving her. She was in shock. She was in love with him. He, however, had fallen in love with a 20-something Russian socialite named Ana Kostenkova. Marie soon learned about his girlfriend. When they separated, Marie claims she was asked to sign an agreement with 100 Carnarvon LLC, the entity that owned the 27,000 square foot Houston mansion called Chateau Carnarvon that Marie lived in. In 2017, when Ed officially filed for divorce, she was evicted from her home just before Christmas.
Ed Bosarge started creating his complicated web of trusts and other entities to purchase property in 1983. Marie's attorneys allege that after Ed fell in love with the Russian in 2012, he took further steps to eliminate Marie's stakes in the trusts and other entities by moving assets to trusts in South Dakota. It isn't just the houses Ed is blocking his ex-wife of more than 30 years from. Ed even went after a diamond necklace he gave her for Christmas one year. He sued her in 2018 for the return of the necklace as well as the return of furnishings and art she took with her when she moved out of Chateau Carnarvon.
Marie, 66, claims to have almost no cash and is struggling to pay her legal bills. She said that almost all of their homes, furnishings, art, and cash have been either bought through or transferred into these series of trusts. Up to $2 billion in property is hidden in these trusts, according to Marie. However, Ed claims that number is closer to $800 million. The couple's community property is worth $12 million. Community property is usually split evenly in divorces in Texas. Marie's attorneys are accusing Ed of using the trusts to hide income and assets that should be part of the Bosarge's community property.
The way trusts are set up in South Dakota, even if Marie wins their court case, she may have a hard time collecting the money and property from her ex. This court case was scheduled to begin in April but has been put off due to coronavirus concerns.